No matter where you look, you’re probably being bombarded with advertisements of all kinds, promising that this or that brand-new product finally has the answers and can change your life. While there have certainly been some incredible advances in wellness products, the whiplash and pressure of trying every new tip, trick, and product can be exhausting.
When wellness gurus have you feeling worn out, look to ancient traditions that have been used for generations as a way to support health and wellness, including the Ayurvedic traditions of garshana and abhyanga.
Ayurveda is an Indian wellness practice that focuses on the health of body and mind. Garshana is the process of rubbing a dry brush over your skin, and abhyanga involves massaging your entire body with warm oil.
Benefits of garshana and abhyanga
Garshana and abhyanga can help you support the wellness of body and mind in many ways, including:
- Waking the body
- Relaxing the muscles
- Increasing blood flow
- Exfoliating dead skin cells
- Improving skin texture
- Helping calm the mind
- Stimulating the lymphatic system
- Soothing and moisturizing skin
Where can I buy a dry brush?
Before you begin your garshana routine, you will need to purchase a dry brush. Dry brushes are sold in many different stores and can be found online or in person. If you would like to add one to your collection of self-care items, be sure to buy a brush that is made with natural materials. You do not want one made with synthetic or plastic bristles, as these brushes can be too coarse on the skin. We recommend a softer, natural-bristle brush.
Dry brushes come in many shapes and sizes but are generally used in the same way. No matter the shape or type of brush, the overall technique remains the same.
YL tip: Looking for a gentler way to practice garshana? Try using 100 percent silk gloves instead of a brush.
How to dry brush
The process of dry brushing is quick and easy. Start with clean skin, free of any lotions or oils. Begin brushing your feet and work your way up your body to your neck using firm, steady pressure to stimulate the skin. Always move in straight lines over your long bones, like your legs and arms. Move in circular motions when going around your joints (ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders). Massage in circular motions over your glutes and stomach. Do 5─7 strokes in each area. The process should take around 5 minutes. If you see that your skin is getting red and irritated, move on to the next area and try lightening the pressure a little. Never brush over areas affected by sunburn, rash, wounds, or varicose veins.
Do not use the dry brush over your heart and breasts, under the arms, or in the groin area. The skin in these places is too sensitive for this routine. Also avoid dry brushing your face with a body dry brush: There are specific brushes created for use on the face. Be mindful and lighten pressure when going over other areas where your skin may be sensitive, like the inner arm or neck.